Golf Lingo 101

October 19, 2012
Posted by Sarah Halcovage
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(Photo credit: TexasT’s)

Here you are, the head of the committee to plan the annual golf tournament.  You were handed a folder with information from last years golf tournament and just know that you need to call US Hole In One for your hole in one insurance.  But there is only one problem, you do not have a clue about golf. Golf has a language of its own and that can make it confusing to someone who does not know anything about the game of golf. Well, US Hole In One  is here to help you out and give you “the 411” on some common golf lingo.

Ace: When a golfer makes a hole in one.

Amateur: A golfer who plays golf for pleasure rather than for money or as a profession.

Back Nine: The second half, or last 9 nines holes of an 18-hole course.

Best Ball: Four golfers with two teams of two.  The lowest score on each hole with be the score counted at each hole.

Birdie: Score of one under par on a hole.

Bogey: Score of one over par on a hole.

Bunker: A hazard that is filled with sand. Also known as a sand-trap.

Double Bogey: Score of two over par on a hole.

Double Eagle: Score of three under par on a hole.

Eagle: Score of two under par for a hole.

Fairway: The area where the grass is cut even and short between the grass tee box and the putting green.

Fore: What is yelled when a golfer hits a shot toward another person on the golf course to alert them.

Front Nine: The first half of a round of golf.

Handicap: The number of strokes a golfer can subtract from his or her actual score to modify his or her score to that of a scratch golfer.

Hazard: An area that is a difficult obstacle on the golf course. It can be a bunker, lake, pond, etc.

Match Play: Game played between two sides. The side that wins the most holes wins the match.

Par: The number of strokes a scratch golfer should require to complete play of the hole.

Practice Green: The area near the clubhouse for working on your putting.

Professional: A golfer who plays or teaches for his or her livelihood.


Round: Playing eighteen holes of golf.

Scramble: All four golfers in the group tee off and from there pick the best shot.  All 4 golfers will then move their ball to that spot and continue this way until the hole is completed.

Scratch Golfer: A golfer with a handicap of zero.


Shotgun: Each group of golfers are assigned to a different hole on the golf course. All golfers then start simultaneously at a certain time.

There are lots of more terms out there that make up the golf dictionary,  but here is a good starting block. US Hole In One hopes this helps you out in your planning and on the course! (And now you know to watch out for golf balls coming your way when you hear someone yelling “FORE!”)

By: Sarah Halcovage

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